Labour Comes Behind Greens in By-election: Starmer's Leadership is Unravelling

A by-election has just been held in Cleadon and East Boldon (South Tyneside) and the result makes for grim reading for the Labour Party, not just because they were beaten by the Tories, but because it was yet another example of the Greens making huge gains and pushing Labour into 3rd place in what was supposed to be a two-horse race. 

The Tories lost 13.5 points in this by-election. This was Labour's big chance. It was the widest of open goals and Keith didn't just blaze the football over the bar, he kicked it out of the stadium, then fell over and broke his own leg!

For all the talk of winning back the northern heartlands by flag shagging and hammering the left, the Labour Party is going nowhere fast. I'm sure Starmerites will try to brush this off as a protest vote and insist most of those Green voters will return to Labour in 2024, but I'm not so sure. 

It's not unthinkable the Greens could eventually become the main opposition party.

The socialists and the younger voters who backed the Greens are furious. They feel alienated and betrayed in a way that goes beyond the usual political frustrations, and instead of trying to win them back, Starmer has done everything he can to push them further away. And he is not winning any of the socially conservative boomers he is desperate to appease. Currently, he is nothing to anyone.

The more people see of Starmer, the less they like him, and this is precisely why I think things will only get worse, come 2024. Remember when Jeremy Corbyn had that huge surge in 2017 when he was attracting adoring crowds on the campaign trail? Expect the opposite from Starmer. Expect wooden performances in small conference rooms and car crash TV debates in which he refuses to adopt a position on anything. Expect Labour to drop to around 25% of the popular vote.

Just look at the below graph and consider how Starmer has been given an easy ride from the press and the rival faction in his own party. Imagine what will happen when the pressure is cranked up a notch.

People don't like the man and his party is offering nothing policy-wise to make them look past that. A recent Labour meeting about the upcoming conference started with praise for Neil Kinnock's 1985 speech. Yes, the people who tell us to "get over Jeremy Corbyn" because he lost two general elections want to emulate Neil Kinnock... who lost two general elections. Talk about out of touch.

The centrist approach of telling the left to "grow up" at every opportunity is backfiring spectacularly and they seem incapable of grasping the climate crisis is now the number one issue for so many. As much as we are struggling financially, we are grown up enough to recognise the very future of the planet comes before our personal needs. If only the self-proclaimed grownups in the room could do the same, but alas, it seems they're not forensic enough for that.

It's not just Starmer's alienation of the young and the left that's the problem though, it's his wooden personality and cringeworthy inability to take a position on anything. His only recent positions have been to slaughter Geronimo the Alpaca (who it turns out probably didn't have TB after all), and to break Labour's manifesto pledge (and Starmer's leadership pledge) to form a National Care Service. At a time when the country is facing a social care crisis, Starmer's only response has been to say the Tories "can no longer call themselves the party of low taxes". 

The British public recognise the urgent need to fix our social care crisis, and all Starmer had to do was come up with a viable alternative plan, but he couldn't because that would involve a wealth tax and it would mean his financial donors walking away from him.

Given the dire state of Labour's finances under Starmer, he simply can't afford to lose those financial backers so he is caught between a rock and a hard place.

He can't approve of an unpopular National Insurance increase and absurdly he is not allowed to put forward any alternative solution. By attacking the Tories from the right, he's managed to let the most right-wing government in our history outflank him from the left, again. This is truly a spectacular achievement and another example of how big money utterly corrupts our political system.

Just watch the below interview with Sky and marvel at Starmer's inability to answer a straight question.

Clearly, Starmer has no idea what his position is supposed to be, so he mumbles his way through the interview and gives non-answers. Whatever Keith is doing, it is not leadership because no one is following him. If only he hadn't repelled so many former members, his party would still be awash with money. Many socialists like myself would've been willing to support him, if only he'd honoured his promise to unite the party, agreed the rich should pay their fair share and stuck to Labour's Green Industrial Revolution pledge. We would have compromised on everything else, if Keith was willing to agree to these very reasonable requests, but he didn't and won't because he is not a socialist, nor even a social democrat, and he is in the wrong party.

Starmer leading Labour is just as absurd as Jeremy Corbyn leading the Tories, and the proof of this is in his actions, rather than his empty words. He is currently purging people for things like calling for a leadership challenge against him. Friendly reminder that if Jeremy Corbyn had adopted that approach, Starmer could have been expelled from the party twice in the last 5 years. The hypocrisy is astounding.

So here we are with an unnecessary mess, with a Labour leader who not only doesn't have ideas on how to improve the country, but would not be allowed to implement them, even if he did. A Labour leader who looks so awkward and shifty on camera because his impossible position is finally dawning on him. A Labour leader who sold his soul for power and all he has contributed to his party is an existential crisis.

Think back to 2017 and the hugely popular manifesto and the enthusiasm from lifelong socialists and millions of young people who were inspired by Corbyn. All of that positivity has been thrown away. Starmer and his allies destroyed a once in a lifetime chance to defeat the establishment and achieve meaningful change in this country. And now their only goal is to keep things exactly the same, but it's a goal they can't say aloud so they're saying nothing at all.

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  1. I agree. It's mindboggling and I've never seen, or read about, a political party committing suicide in this way.

    1. The Pasok Party in Greece did exactly the same

  2. 1. Labour lost all legitimacy starting is Sierra Leone, compounded by Afghanistan, then utterly destroyed by Iraq. The the Work Capability Assessment in 2005 rubbed salt into the wound against the most vulnerable people in England.
    2. Failure by the membership to confront that is Labour biggest failing in 100 years, by far.
    3. Once the establishment realised the English electorate were timid, that even having the evidence and the legislation with which to indict Blair and most of the Establishment, the electorate were more concerned with the safety of their mortgages, they knew they could get away with anything.
    4. The '08 Crash was entirely a fraud, as was Austerity.
    5. The only way back is an honest, radical political critical analysis that accepts that warfare, structural poverty, structural racism, structural misogyny and concentration of wealth as a political hegemon are all impeding the political and cultural co-operation needed to address climate, environment, pollution as we look to the next 50 years: we MUST deal with these problems directly, no half measures.
    6. The future is unfinished, there's plenty space to do all of this. Keith and the old 19th Century working class/middle class division are futile, out of date, nonsensical. There's the Ruling class, and there's the rest of us.

    I have no idea what will happen over the next two years - I do see that covid will break England. It's not a flu.


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